food

What to eat when you've eaten so much you never want to see food again.

Image via 30 Rock

Whether it’s your favourite home cooked meal, a Christmas feast, or just a delicious dish you concocted last night, we’ve all been there — overeating to the point that you feel like you’ll never be able to eat again.

It’s easy to do. Your stomach can only hold about one litre, so any more than that puts pressure on it and the surrounding organs. Overeating can also cause heartburn, which occurs when the release of hydrochloric acid to break down your food irritates your stomach’s lining and makes its way into your esophagus.

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It’s also a mind game. The hormone leptin’s job is to let the brain know when we’re satisfied, while another hormone, peptide tyrosine-tyrosine,  sends signals that can makes us feel ill when we’ve eaten a high-calorie meal, making it a less enjoyable experience no matter how delicious the food is.

Sometimes, however, you just can’t help it — particularly on special occasions where having second and thirds isn’t just a challenge, it’s an expectation. So how do you bounce back the next day? Well, according to dietician Gabrielle Maston, if you really can’t face the thought of more food, reducing the amount of food you eat the following day isn’t going to be detrimental to your health (unless you suffer from a medical condition).

"There will be some point the day after overindulging that you do feel hungry. I suggest either waiting for this hunger, or if you want to stick to your normal routine and have breakfast, then choose something less energy dense," she says.

"A good option would be one egg with some grilled veggies or a mixed berry smoothie made on water."

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RELATED: Is eating breakfast food for dinner bad for your health?

If you still feel bloated, don't worry - that's just a normal sensation of your body trying to tell you to stop eating.

"Generally, drinking lots of water or herbal teas soothe the bloated feeling, although there is no single food that will help you digest the food you have eaten," Maston says.

This video by the American Chemical Society explains exactly what goes on in your stomach when you've eaten too much.

If you're hungry but can't manage your usual diet, try going for watery and vegetable based foods like soups, salads, veggie or low-sugar fruit smoothies like berries, passionfruit or kiwi and eggs.

"Exercise is also a great way to help improve and aid digestion, because when you are burning calories, your body metabolises food (energy) faster," Maston adds.

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Ramping up your water intake to two litres can also help if you're feeling particularly unwell, although Maston says it's more for psychosomatic benefits than anything to do with what's occurring in the physiological level.

"When you are drinking water, you're probably not eating food and you are going to the bathroom more, which in the end makes people feel better," she says.

 Do you have a greedy food confession? Share it with us below!